World Cocktail Day: Discover the best bars in Bristol, from speakeasy to secret and swanky

Whether you love yourself a gin-based cocktail or you like to experiment and leave it to the hands of trusty mixologists, you’ll be in safe hands in Bristol

<p>Milk Thistle is one of the most famous cocktail bars in the south west</p>

Milk Thistle is one of the most famous cocktail bars in the south west

Despite a lot of them being hidden from plain sight (on purpose, and to add to the decadence and mystery!), Bristol is brimming with brilliant cocktail bars to enjoy.

So, for World Cocktail Day (13th May), we thought we’d round up 10 of the best in the city for you to enjoy. Why not get your glad rags on this evening and head out to sample some of the best mixologist talent in the country?

Sign up to our BristolWorld Today newsletter

A fairly new addition in the grand scheme of things to the Bristol cocktail scene, The Loose Cannon just off Millennium Square does things right. The proudly independent bar prides itself on good quality cocktails, as opposed to cheap, juice-filled, watery dishwater that so often masquerades as a cocktail these days. Plus, they’ve got pretty swanky surroundings to enjoy them in, too.

Perhaps one of the most well-known cocktail bars in Bristol, award-winning The Milk Thistle is one of the secret bars across the city, brought to us by Hyde and Co. Spread across four floors of a townhouse building, that has a different vibe for every place that you enter, they really get it right when it comes to their approaches to mixology. Have a chat about your favourite flavours with the staff and they are sure to mix you up something special, or opt for a classic and they’ll serve it perfectly.

The award-winning Milk Thistle is something of a rite of passage in Bristol

You’d expect it to be swanky, given it’s situated in one of Bristol’s best hotels, but The Gold Bar really impresses, both in interiors and taste. Formerly the Bank Manager’s office, this sizeable yet intimate space has an ultra-luxe speakeasy vibe that you can take to the bank. The bar staff have been shaking up the cocktail scene with their knowledge since the launch, and the well-stocked, marble-clad bar is the perfect place to sit and savour the expertise.

This cute little independent bar in Clifton is a sure winner when it comes to cocktails. Just by the train station on Whiteladies Road, it’s a lovely little space that feels cosy, decadent and perfect for sipping soothing spirits. Their latest menu, Celebrating Cocktails, is a pretty decent summary of the bar – it’s all about the origins of their favourites, but with unpretentious and occasionally outrageous twists, with the classics available too, of course.

Her Majesty’s is a wonderful little spot and one that you must try

Open from 5pm to midnight Tuesday to Saturday, The Clockwork Rose is a full-on experience bar and the perfect place to escape from reality for a little while. Sip intoxicating cocktails and unusual combinations of ingredients while you immerse yourself in the fictional story of the bar. As the fictional watering hole of the adventurer Captain Sebastian Commodore, the bar have recreated the accounts of his travel into cocktails for all to enjoy.

If a gin-based cocktail is where it’s at for you, then Gin and Juice on Park Street might just be the best spot for you. With an extensive range of over 350 gins on offer, you’ll be spoiled for choice. Open seven days a week, from morning through until late night, they have signature cocktails and spirits all served in their signature handmade glassware.

Gin and Juice has a wide variety of over 350 gins on offer

The riverside cocktail bar is a favourite among those who love a cocktail, and it’s easy to see why. A unique venue specialising in coffee and cocktails, they describe their evening experience as “the ultimate cocktail experience full of mystery, adventure and inquisitiveness!”

They believe in making things by hand, with love, crafted with local ingredients - and this applies thoroughly to their cocktails. All of their cocktails and other drinks focus on fresh and local suppliers, particularly independents from Bristol and its surrounding hills. All their juices are fresh-pressed to order, their syrups, shrubs, and cordials all made on-site, and their bar food selection is sourced from the West Country’s finest producers.

Just off the Triangle in Clifton, Hyde and Co is incredibly well known when it comes to cocktail bars in the city and really set the standard when they arrived on the scene. Still surprising and charming people today, you can expect to have a wonderful experience within this original speakeasy bar. Expect award-winning creative cocktails, exceptional customer service and a unique atmosphere inspired by the great cocktail bars of New York City.

Kinkajou pride themselves on being a sophisticated and exciting experience

One of the most upmarket cocktail experiences in the city, this secluded bar just off The Downs is a must-visit on your tour of the best drinks in the city. Their aim is simple, to provide you with exceptional cocktails, outstanding customer service, and a sophisticated environment. Tucked away at the top of Whiteladies Road, they are open Thursday to Saturday. Although there is no dress code, they do ask that you approach your trip out with a sense of occasion!